Project image
)}
$9,551
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
33
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, March 13 2015 1:08 PM UTC +00:00
Mutated SoftwareBy Mutated Software
First created
Mutated SoftwareBy Mutated Software
First created
$9,551
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
33
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, March 13 2015 1:08 PM UTC +00:00

About

UPDATE: Blue-Collar Astronaut will also be coming to the OUYA!!! That means the $15 tier and beyond also includes an OUYA option! 

Make sure to allow the Unity Webplayer in your browser
Make sure to allow the Unity Webplayer in your browser

Blue-Collar Astronaut is a physics based space flight experience with hand drawn 2D art by the Internet’s own Maki Naro!  Challenging and varied gameplay meets humorous social commentary as you literally and figuratively explore upwards mobility. So strap in for some nostalgia-inducing, genre-defying, and polished gameplay that's just out of this world! (That's a space pun.  There will be more.  Sorry.  I can't help myself.)

  • I'm a HUGE fan of old school Atari arcade games like Lunar Lander, Missile Command, and Asteroids.  The intent of Blue-Collar Astronaut’s gameplay is to capture the mechanically rewarding game experience that those classics still bring to the arcade today.

  • Simple controls have been a hallmark of many of the most successful arcade games.  For instance, Lunar Lander has 2 buttons and a throttle; the same is true of Blue-Collar Astronaut.  You won’t have to explain to your friends how to quarter circle into an A+B press when your power meter is full.  Just hand them the controls and let 'em fly.

  • Easy to learn, difficult to master as the saying goes.  I believe that describes Asteroids and Missile Commander in a nutshell.  That's the feel that Blue-Collar Astronaut is going for.

  • The narrative is in the gameplay. Don’t worry about reading a tome or two to try and figure out what’s going on.  Just sit back (or stand up, whatever you prefer) and let the experience wash over you like a metaphor (simile?) from a better writer than I.

Each level in Blue-Collar Astronaut can be played in several different play modes and difficulties. Drawing inspiration from games like Lego Star Wars and Crash Team Racing.

  • Make it a race with the TIME ATTACK mode.  Collect time bonuses to roll back the clock as your scoring becomes focussed on finishing as fast as possible.  A little damage here is perfectly acceptable, just like in the days of the 30-minutes-or-less pizza delivery guarantee.

  • Don’t explode in HEALTH mode.  Scoring is focused on keeping your ship in pristine condition.  Oh, and missile launchers and other hiccups are added.

  • Step it up a notch in CHALLENGE mode.  Whether it be increased gravity, added obstacles, or the addition of traffic cone shooters, your piloting skills will be put to the test.

  • Frugality is king in FUEL mode.  Use gravity to your advantage as you miserly drift to you destination.  But don’t ignore the throttle, your spacecraft can’t take as much damage as a 1970s Cadillac.

  • Or just see how many cones you can take out in FREE PLAY mode.  Who knows… there might even be some secrets waiting for you.  Consider it a thank you for bothering to read this far into the Kickstarter.  You champion of text.  Prince of literacy.

  • Quick Gameplay - Finish a few levels in under 5 minutes or stick around awhile and work towards that 100% completion.  The level design of Blue-Collar Astronaut can accommodate whatever your playing habits are.

  • Upgrades - Ogle over the many amazing items available for purchase with your hard earned money.  Assuming, of course, that you’ve paid off all your debts.  If not, you can always buy lottery tickets on credit or get a payday loan (for the love of everything everywhere, never get a payday loan in real life).

  • Physics! - Newton would be proud!  Well, probably not, I did fudge the gravitational constant.  But you can put your ship in orbit, go get a sandwich, and come back to see your ship still in orbit.

  • Achievements! - Get your buzzword bingo cards out for a best of breed, client-centric, value-added, out of the box goal set.  Be a trailblazer, get your synergy on, and become a go-getter with your eyes on the prize.  Animo!

  • Jokes! - The game's got 'em.  From slapstick to more slapstick to some non-slapstick (kept to a minimum).  But in all seriousness, the seriousness of the narrative is kept in check by a universe full of character.

  • The Essence of Pure Flavor -  Just kidding.  All my attempts thus far to add literal flavor to video games have ended in hospital visits.  The Futurama version of pure flavor didn’t go much better.

I was inspired by Jonathan Blow's talk: Video Game and the Human Condition to give the player something to think about as they put the game down. The goal for Mutated Software is to join the growing number of developers that are trying to make game experiences about more than just escapism.  Blue-Collar Astronaut will touch on debt and working class living through a subtle near-wordless narrative expressed through gameplay mechanics.  

The Driver’s Ed levels are feature complete, but they’ll still be undergoing tweaks and polishing before the final release based on player feedback.  There are also two more level sets yet to be completed.  They're all in some stage of prototyping, but they lack any art assets.  Which is sad.  They’d be much happier with artwork.  And sound.  And more playtesting.

What are those other two sets of levels?  I’m so glad you asked!  

Pizza Delivery

These levels come with a more nimble ship and are focused around delivering as many ‘zas as possible before time runs out.  Each delivery grants you some extra time for a Crazy Taxi like experience.  The universe really begins to take shape during these levels as you go from a lively planet to a busy super space highway (for some Frogger like action) to appeasing a giant pizza eating robot.

Truckin'

Long haulin'.  That's actually the extent of my trucker slang.  Wait, 10-4. 

The trucker levels come bundled with some procedural generation making each level play differently every time.  On top of that, a number of new environmental challenges await, such as heat death, asteroids, and black holes.  On top of on top of all that, just pulling around the various trailers adds a whole new challenge to the core gameplay.  

For starters, the above triangle is what the game’s ship used to look like before Maki joined.

The project has been running on fumes from my working days and could really use some financial certainty towards its completion cost.  It’s also important to me that everyone else involved is paid a fair wage regardless of Blue-Collar Astronaut's success.  It seems to me that this is especially important when working with freelance artists like Maki and my soon to be made best friend of a music genius.  In short, regardless of whether Mutated Software is successful or not, it’s going to adhere to a moral code that includes not potentially screwing people over, which means paying people upfront instead of with promises and best intentions.

What’s the money going toward?

Art and sound!  Mostly.  There are also Kickstarter fees, Amazon fees, Unity 3D licensing, and marketing costs (likely a conference such as PAX).  Plus I’d like to get a new chair.  I hate my chair.  Marketing costs have been left out of the budget for this Kickstarter.  Not because I don't think marketing is important, just because those costs don't directly lead to the completion of Blue-Collar Astronaut - which is goal #1.

Professional looking pie chart
Professional looking pie chart

The goal amount is my best estimation based on talking with Maki and going by the best information I can find on original sound track expenses.  In short, the goal amount is just enough to get the project done without writing IOUs.  Any funds over the goal amount will go towards finishing the project faster, adding more platforms, or adding more features by the same deadline.

All rewards except the artwork PDF will be distributed in August 2015.  The artwork PDF will be distributed in December 2015.

Each pledge reward will grant you all the prior (cheaper) rewards as well - until you get into the limited rewards tiers.  The President Producer pledge level will get you everything.

  • Credited Crew - Thanks for the support!  The credits for the game will feature your name under the Kickstarter backer section.  You'll also be pleased to know that you can always upgrade your support level later as well.  I know, pretty fantastic, right?
  • Game Getter - A digital copy of Blue-Collar Astronaut.  You're getting the real deal here.  No fake Blue-Collar Astronauts for you!  You can have your choice of a PC, Mac, Lunux, OUYA, or Wii U copy. NOTE: OUYA isn't listed in the reward text, and I'm not allowed to change it... but believe me, it is an option.  AFTER THOUGHT: it's probably good that creators can't change rewards after people have picked them. Otherwise I'd probably include my upcoming one-man a cappella album at the last minute.  
  • Beta Backer - Get early access to a feature complete (or at least extremely close to it) build and help shape the game through your feedback!  Expect to receive access by the end of June 2015 if not sooner.  How important your feedback is to the success of Blue-Collar Astronaut can't be understated.  The game has already gone through fantastic changes based on player feedback and will hopefully have more to come!
  • Alpha Astronaut - Saddle up, space cowboy.  Just as soon as the Kickstarter ends you'll get an alpha build of Blue-Collar Astronaut.  It'll be a bit of a bumpy ride at first, but the monthly builds will make your feedback invaluable to the project.
  • Silly Spaceperson - I'm quite excited about this one.  Be listed ahead of the Credited Crew backers along with a job title of your choice.  As long as your credited role isn't a real thing (such as Lead Oxygen Distributor) or simply doesn't make sense in the context of a video game (such as Assistant Animal Wrangler) then go nuts!
  • Manual Maker - Not a person that will make manuals by hand, but rather a person that helps make a manual.  Perhaps I should rephrase this one... At any rate, do you remember those old NES manuals that you'd read in the car on the way home from the store?  It's going to be one of those, but in PDF form!
  • Informed Indie - Get your hands (figuratively) on a digital subscription of Indie Game Magazine THE #1 (ish) source for Indie Game News & Reviews.  But wait!  Order now (or any time before the campaign ends) and you'll also get access to an exclusive ship skin.  Skin as in a new awesome art design that fits over the base ship structure, not as in flesh.  That'd be gross.  Although, if you really want a flesh ship I suppose you could go for the Custom Cruiser tier... but ... ewww.
  • Post-flight PDF - Commentary and art collide and take the form of a PDF with all the artwork from Blue-Collar Astronaut combined with anecdotes and maybe even Shakespearean soliloquies about the design process of the project.  It's as close as you can get to a behind the scenes documentary on the project!
  • Egg Engineer - Perhaps you're working on your own project and would like your protagonist to appear in Blue-Collar Astronaut as a hidden secret to be found.  Finding your secret will add towards the game's completion percentage.  Plus it'll just be fun to do.  
  • Custom Cruiser - Why not have a custom skin for your Driver's Education ship?  Seems like a good idea to me.  Maki seems on board.  Let's do this!  The design will need to conform to the same general shape, but what goes on that shape is up to you!
  • Determined Dreamer - Take a swing at level design.  Your creation will be in the full release of the game for everyone else to play!  And when your friends don't believe that the one super cool level with the thing in it was made by you, you can point to your name in the credits as the level designer for the coolest level in the game!
  • Diplomatic Dean - Upon completion of the Driver's Education levels, the player will be presented with a degree from the school name of your choice signed by the dean (you).  Probably not your real signature though.  One with some more flare maybe?
  • Advertisement Agent - The citizens of the Blue-Collar universe are subjected to as much advertisement for things they can't afford as you and I.  Be part of that proud tradition by becoming "The Man" and bombard the people with your ads.  The ads can be for anything, but keep it PG and silly.  No real products please - unless they are fictionalized (such as an aspect from your game/company being marketed).  Shoot me an email (scott@mutatedsoftware dot com) if you're not sure if your advertisement will work or not.  
  • Tolerant Teammate - Scott will make himself available for a 48 hour near-sleepless game jam.  Don't like game jams?  We can use the 48 hours to prototype whatever idea you've been kicking around.
  • President Producer - You get everything.  Every. Single. Reward.  Plus the first name after Maki and Scott in the credits will be yours!

 Scott Meyer (Me)

I’ve done a bit of everything in the Software Engineer realm since getting my computer science degree.  From leading a development team for a healthcare SaaS site to making PERL scripts to aggregate silicone wafer data.  It’s been... fun… but in 2013 I decided to pursue my childhood dream of making video games under a protective layer of LLC called Mutated Software (I thought my dreams through).  And I love it.  I also do Mutated Software’s marketing, but I don’t love that.

Maki Naro (the Maki)

Where to start?  Sufficiently Remarkable?  Box Plot?  Sci-ence comic?  Ooooh the Penny Arcade and Load Ready Run reality show Strip Search?  I’ll just say this, Maki makes art with a purpose.  Beautiful art.  Full of the beauty.  Like to the brim.  No, overflowing!  Yeah!

… he’s going to be so disappointed with my literary skills.

Some other ways to stay involved include...

PICTURES!

Challenge mode
Challenge mode
Explosions!
Explosions!
Health Mode
Health Mode
Time Attack Mode
Time Attack Mode
A Campfire
A Campfire

Risks and challenges

Production for Blue-Collar Astronaut has been underway for over a year now and is in the homestretch thanks to a solidified workflow. Barring any major health disaster, the project will be completed one way or another; though it'll take somewhat longer without Kickstarter funding.

This is Mutated Software's first major game undertaking and we understand, and respect, the doubt that brings. All I can do to address that healthy level of skepticism is to assure you that we're determined to both finish and polish the hell out of Blue-Collar Astronaut. I suppose I could also point to the Driver's Education demos, our neat-o website, and our Greenlight campaign as further evidence (See links above), but the short of it is that Blue-Collar Astronaut is a labor of love and dedication that will shine through in the final product!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Credited Crew- Get your name in the credits as a Kickstarter backer and remain in the loop for project updates!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    Just a PC/Mac/Linux/OUYA digital copy, please - You think Wii Us are cool, but have no plans to own one. You'd also prefer not to be in the credits. I'm sure there is some complicated name for that specific phobia.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Game Getter - A digital copy of B-CA on PC, Mac, Linux, or Wii U and all the previous rewards.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Beta Backer - Receive all the above rewards plus get BETA BUILD ACCESS (PC/Mac/Linux only). And.... WALLPAPERS!!!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Alpha Astronaut - Receive the above rewards plus ALPHA BUILD ACCESS (PC/Mac/Linux only) starting just after the Kickstarter ends! Plus @mutatedsoftware (that's me!) tweets an embarrassingly emotional thank you to your twitter account!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Silly Spaceperson - Receive all the above rewards, plus get listed in the credits under a nonsensical title of your choosing. Want to be the "Duke of codesville"? You got it. "Ambassador to the Space Pope"? It was an honor to work with you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Manual Maker - All the above rewards plus a retro style instruction manual PDF.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Informed Indie - All the above rewards plus an exclusive ship skin and a subscription to Indie Game Magazine!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Post-flight PDF - All the above rewards plus a PDF filled to the digital brim with artwork from Blue-Collar Astronaut. Artwork that makes the works of Rembrandt look like a pile of puke.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Egg Engineer - Receive all the $90 and below rewards plus work with us on creating an easter-egg in the finished product. Show off to your friends by flying 50 seconds past the goal south by southwest to see your likeness waving - or some such silly thing

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Custom Cruiser - Receive all the $90 and below rewards plus get your own private customized Driver's Ed ship skin designed by the Maki himself based off your napkin doodle. Napkin canvas is optional, but highly encouraged.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Determined Dreamer - Receive all the $90 and below rewards and work with us in designing a complete level as part of a secret bonus set of levels (sssh! Don't tell anyone)! Feel free to stretch the concepts in the game and let your imagination stretch to the stars (space metaphor).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Diplomatic Dean - Receive all the $90 and below rewards and get your name on all the driver's education diplomas as the dean of [you can name the school too]!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Advertisement Agent - Receive all the $90 and below rewards plus become a brand within the Blue-Collar Astronaut Universe! You'll be featured throughout the game in art assets and more! Everyone in the B-CA ‘verse loves your product, and that makes you a very powerful (albeit virtual) figure.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Tolerant Teammate - Receive all the $90 and below rewards plus Scott (me) will do a hyper-active, sleep-deprived, soda-filled game jam weekend with you (telecommuting). Experience my borderline delusional enthusiasm for prototyping game concepts first hand as we work on whatever concept you'd like. Please choose this reward. I'm so lonely...

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    President Producer - All the above rewards (even the limited ones), plus get listed just after Maki and myself in the credits as a producer! And I'll promise to remember your birthday and send you a card every year. So that'll be nice too.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (60 days)